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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gully Cams

A Western screech owl perches near the camera 
but at the edge of the frame where there was no eye shine.

Unless there's a visible bait, sound lure, or water you don't expect owls to come to camera traps. 

Craig set a couple of cameras in or near gullies, which many mammals use as travel lanes.  

He used a punctured can of mackerel under a rock as bait, and a couple of scent lures, none of which should attract owls.

The surprise was that an owl visited each camera. 

Western screech owl faces a gully camera. Picture was cropped, 
but bird was close to the center of the frame, thus the eye shine.

You can't rule out the possibility that they were attracted to rodents attracted to the bait. 

Second photo of the owl, after retreating. 


randomtruth said...

Maybe your camera trapping has awakened the curiosity of the Goddess Athena? :)

Camera Trap Codger said...

Damn, that explains it . . . the mysterious appearance of owls, and my artsy craftsy mood these days.

Owlman said...

Good idea! (punctured can of fish)I would agree with theory that the owl was attracted to a small rodent. I'll try that next time.
Thanks Codger.

Unknown said...

I'm a bird researcher headed to Sabah, malaysian borneo in february. I'm looking to buy 2-3 camera traps to play with while I'm there. Any recommendations? Gotta be able to endure lots of rain and fit a biologists budget. Thanks in advance..

suek said...


I know nothing about camera traps other than I enjoy the results! But I noticed that a recently received catalog from Cabelas had them featured on the back cover.

There are also probably cheaper places to get them, but if you don't want to do much in the way of searching...!

Camera Trap Codger said...

Andy, check out TrailCamProBlog on the side menu for reviews on various commercial cams... and good luck and have a great adventure.